The Embracer Group, who are slowly shopping for any and each online game writer and studio in the marketplace, simply introduced that they’ve bought Center-earth Enterprises, the corporate that owns the big-and-small-screen rights to most of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most necessary works, together with Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
Some background: Center-earth Enterprises was once a division of The Saul Zaentz Firm, a Hollywood manufacturing studio that in 1976 managed to select up the rights to just about every part to do with Tolkien besides the publication of the books themselves. These rights had been used to make the 1978 animated characteristic, and ever since have solely been licensed out to different corporations—an operation overseen by Center-earth Enterprises—by no means totally offered.
Which means every part from Peter Jackson’s movies to EA’s video video games had been solely borrowing the Lord of the Rings license (Amazon’s upcoming TV collection, in the meantime, is an entire different story). Possession nonetheless lay with The Saul Zaentz Firm. Or, it did, till now.
The Saul Zaentz Firm floated the sale of their rights earlier this yr for an eye-popping $2 billion, and whereas Embracer’s buy value wasn’t disclosed of their announcement, you’d assume the worth they paid can be someplace in that ballpark. [Replace: in a separate announcement, Embracer say the full price for all of the acquisitions they made as we speak was SEK8.2 billion, which is round USD$770 million].
Because the announcement says, the acquisition covers just about every part you’d affiliate with Lord of the Rings past the publishing of the books themselves (whose rights are held by HarperCollins), together with:
Key upcoming works set in Center-earth, wherein Center-earth Enterprises has monetary pursuits, embody the much-heralded Amazon collection The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Energy which can premiere on September 2, 2022, set hundreds of years earlier than The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings; the animated film The Lord of the Rings: The Conflict of the Rohirrim (Warner Bros), set for launch in 2024, and the cellular sport The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Center-earth (Digital Arts).
As for what Embracer may need to do with the license sooner or later, that’s spelled out within the press launch as properly:
Different alternatives embody exploring extra motion pictures based mostly on iconic characters corresponding to Gandalf, Aragorn, Gollum, Galadriel, Eowyn and different characters from the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and proceed to supply new alternatives for followers to discover this fictive world by merchandising and different experiences.
With Embracer proudly owning each a ton of online game studios and in addition board sport firm Asmodee (who in flip personal Fantasy Flight), you’ll be able to anticipate a ton of licensed video games to observe swimsuit as properly (word that Asmodee already personal the Lord of the Rings license for board video games).
Of course it wouldn’t be an Embracer announcement with information that, alongside the Center-earth Enterprises buy, the corporate additionally purchased a bunch of different stuff as we speak, together with bodily copy specialists Restricted Run Video games, Tripwire Interactive (Killing Flooring, Chivalry), Tuxedo Labs (Teardown) and, in a bizarrely poetic transfer given the consumers in query, Japanese studio Tatsujin. Their boss is Masahiro Yuge, a co-founder of Toaplan, the builders of Zero Wing, the sport that the “All of your base belong to us” meme comes from.